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Department of Taxation and Finance

Innocent spouse (and separation of liability and equitable relief)


If you file a joint return, both you and your spouse are responsible for the tax and any interest or penalties due on the return. However, you may qualify for relief from some, or all, of the tax, interest, and penalties relating to a tax bill issued to you and your spouse (or former spouse).

For a bill issued for tax years 1999 or later

There are three types of relief available to you:

  • innocent spouse relief,
  • separation of liability, and
  • equitable relief.

To request relief for a tax year beginning on or after January 1, 1999, see Form IT-285, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief (and Separation of Liability and Equitable Relief), and its instructions.  If you file Form IT-285, the department will consider whether you qualify under innocent spouse relief, separation of liability, or equitable relief.

For a bill issued for tax years before 1999

Only innocent spouse relief is available for tax years beginning before January 1, 1999. To request innocent spouse relief for these tax years, you may file Form IT-285 or submit a signed statement with supporting documentation showing why you believe you qualify.

Mail your completed Form IT-285 or signed statement with supporting documentation to:

NYS TAX DEPARTMENT
PROTEST CORRESPONDENCE UNIT
W A HARRIMAN CAMPUS
ALBANY, NY 12227-5120

For more information:

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